Rebel returnee in Bohol says NPA uses agitation strategy to play with people’s emotions

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, April 27 (PIA) -- "Agitation as a strategy to keep discontent high."

This is how the New People’s Army (NPA) of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF) survive, feeding on the people’s discontent and preying on their helplessness to force them to rise up in arms against the government.

The confession was among the information which former rebel Virgilio Quisto shared moments before he has to give his testimony on the government’s goodwill to people like him who made the decision to switch to a path of peace. 

"Then, it was always easy to hit the raw nerve of the poor people, because we trained for that. Now, however, no matter how good the agitation is, somehow the government can easily get and appease the sentiments of the people," said Quisto, once a key agitator and respected leader of the underground movement. 

CAPS OFF. A rebel returnee places his life at risk speaking in public against the underground movement. But for former rebel Virgilio Quisto, the lies have to stop because many young lives have been lost in the senseless revolution. (rahc/PIA7/Bohol) 

"Ang ila, programa alang sa kagubot, wala silay Department of Agrarian Reform nga tinuod nga manghatag og yuta, wala silay programa alang sa mga kabus, ang ila, ang pagdakop sa emosyon sa tawo aron mo-alsa (Their programs are all to sow trouble. They do not have DAR which fulfils its promise of lands. They do not really have programs for the poor. Their strategy is only to capture the emotions of people to stir uprisings," said Quisto. 

Quisto made the statement amid hundreds of land reform beneficiaries accepting their Certificates of Land Ownership Awards and Agricultural Free Patents during the service caravan in San Vicente, Trinidad.

Quisto's family received 2.14 hectares of land which they have cultivated since they occupied a portion of the government sequestered lands of the abandoned Bohol Cattle Corporation. 

The former rebel shared that he joined the rebels in Surigao del Sur in 1987.

For 12 years, he went up the mountains or rested in his home when there were no offensives.

Sensing that the government was getting serious in cracking down on the underground movement in Surigao, he, along with his family, went home to Bohol.

"It was the government’s offensive against the rebels and overhead, we could see cannon balls flying and exploding in the hills," he shared, before they decided to make it to Bohol.

As an active rebel in the movement, his arrival in Bohol found him in a rather comfortable situation.

Assigned to the Bohol Guerilla Front 3 based in the mountains of Maribojoc, Loon, San Isidro, Calape Tubigon and Antequera, Quisto said he was present during the encounter in Tan-awan in 1995, Tubigon, where he said they had two casualties.

By 2016, he went down the mountains and joined the legal front for reasons he did not specify.

Between 2019 and 2020, Quisto again went active in the Sandatahang Yunit Propaganda operating in the forests of Bilar, Batuan, and nearby towns.

But admitting that he is too old for the mountain treks, and sensing the disillusionment and the empty promises he received from the movement, he decided to make it to the lowlands and live in peace.

A member of the provincial association of rebel returnees, Quisto now helps the government in convincing his former comrades to take the same way he did.

With Talibon Trinidad Farmers Association (TTIFA), Quisto along with the organization’s president, Rowena Eronico, started to regain the trust of their members, who were then organized to agitate the government on the issues of land reform, anti oil-palm, poverty, and alleged militarization.

In 2020, it was hard to get the sympathy of TTIFA.

"But then, our persistence paid off because we are now getting majority of our members back," Eronico said.

"Wala na ba diay gyuy luna sa inyong kasingkasing ang tinabangay ug hangopay sa masa? Wala na tay rason pa, kay ania na ang atong gitagna niadto nga dili madayon. Ania na, nagpang-apod-aporan na kita sa yuta, ug dili ang kalihukan ang nakahimo niini. Mabuhi ang mga mag-uuma, Mabuhi ang DAR (Do you not have space in your hearts for cooperation, for brotherhood as men? We do not have any reasons anymore. The time has come, the one we said would never happen, is here. And we are given lots not by the underground movement, but by the government we downplayed before," Quisto added. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (

Post a Comment